Participant Profile – Richard Posma

by | Dec 1, 2023 | Diplomacy, Participant Profile | 0 comments

Richard Posma is a passionate change agent contributing to sustainable economic growth. His professional working experience includes both work in the public and private sectors. In the last five years, he worked for the Dutch Embassy in Brazil. He transformed its Trade and Investment Office, ‘ NBSO Southern Brazil’, into a leading agency and key regional reference regarding cooperation towards the Sustainable Development Goals agenda of 2030 and 2050. Richard has a multidisciplinary background in Organizational Development and People Management (BBA, Rotterdam University, Netherlands) and International Business Management (MBA, European University, Switzerland). Since 2021, Richard has been working towards completing his Executive Master in International Relations at the Graduate Institute. We asked him a few questions about his professional background and learning journey with us.

As part of your learning journey for the MAS, you recently completed the Executive Programme in International Negotiation and Policy-making. Why did you pick this programme, and what are your main takeaways?

Leading a trade office for a government organisation was new terrain for me, and I wanted to be equipped with practical knowledge, new skills, and tools to turn strategic ideas into actions.

The multidisciplinary INP programme provides the latest insights into various sectors and international developments, combined with strategic planning techniques and policy development. It also offers the opportunity to practise negotiations in complex situations and with multiple actors. I think it is a unique programme that allows participants to be influential and generate positive change on the highest levels.

The Graduate Institute is uniquely positioned to offer an edge in international relations. I have been impressed by the high level and background of the speakers and enjoyed the exchanges with a great international cohort, and I hope to return to Geneva many times.

What impact has this training had on your professional career, and how do you implement the tools you have learned in your day-to-day job? 

This programme enabled me to understand the main challenges in international affairs better and helped me to engage with governmental organisations, businesses, and organisations. 

Strategic forecasting and scenario planning techniques have been used to deliver strategically important public-private partnership projects in several priority sectors, such as the ‘Green Ports Partnership’, creating sustainable growth and a great positive impact.

At various times, the new skills could be used at the negotiating table to create a better mutual understanding and more favourable positions, mainly through good preparation and effective communication.

Throughout your career, you have worked in various contexts and positions. In your opinion, what are the essential skills to evolve in international relations?

We can create a more sustainable future through both good communication and cooperation. Analytical skills and critical thinking can help to solve problems, make informed decisions, and process information. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential to build and maintain good relationships. And with negotiation and consensus-building tactical skills, we will hopefully be able to solve more of our problems and differences. In my career, strategic planning, programme management, and teambuilding skills have also proven to be important.


Want to learn more about our Executive Programmes in Diplomacy, Negotiation and Policy? Visit the programme page.

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